What time of day is best for running?

October 5, 2022

A healthy and active lifestyle must include exercise. While some prefer to work out in the late afternoon, others prefer to run first thing in the morning. Some individuals even work out just before bedtime. Is there any advantage to working out at a certain time of day?

The debate over this issue among athletes, fitness professionals, and researchers is intense. Even if there is some evidence suggesting the late afternoon is the best time to exercise, there are advantages to other times as well. The time that works best for you is always the greatest time to exercise. For more information on the potential advantages of exercising at specific times of the day, keep reading.

Why Afternoon Is Beneficial

The ideal times to exercise are in the late afternoon and early evening, according to experts. You will achieve your best outcomes when your body temperature is the greatest, according to research. That occurs for most people between 4 and 5 p.m.
and 5 p.m., while some research pushes this deadline back to 7 p.m.

These few hours are when strength and endurance are at their highest. On physical performance tests evaluating aerobic capacity and response time, exercisers typically perform better. Additionally, it's a wise time to prevent injuries. The muscles are warmed up from the day's activities, and you might be more alert and concentrated in the afternoon.

Morning Motivation

You might find it easier to stay motivated if you run early. According to research, those who exercise in the morning stick more closely to their training routines than those who exercise in the afternoon or evening. This may be because you're rising earlier just to go running or to the gym. Usually, you have more influence over your mornings than your evenings. Throughout the day, a variety of obstacles may arise and prevent you from maintaining an afternoon pattern. You might need to stay late at work, drive the kids to sports practice, go to the supermarket, or anything. You awaken in the morning with no obstacles in your path and are prepared to go.

In addition, during the warmer months, the morning is the coolest time of the day. If you go for a run in the morning when it's hot, you'll feel safer and more comfortable.

Lifestyle Considerations

The most useful strategy is to modify your routine to fit your way of living. You may reduce the stress associated with wanting to exercise, which will make it easier for you to keep to a routine. For example, some individuals are morning persons by nature, and a run helps them get ready for the day. Others might find that doing out in the afternoon gives them a welcome break from their workday or that it allows them to let off steam after work.

Similarly, an early run can fit your schedule more than an evening activity. Night owls might take solace in the fact that studies have indicated that exercising before bed may not influence the quality of your sleep3.However, the one thing that everyone can agree on is that you need to receive a decent quantity of sleep. This is because you need to get enough sleep to function properly. Sportspeople who are sleep deprived perform significantly worse.

Event Timing

Your ideal workout time should match the activity if you are training for a specific event or sport. Running in the morning might help you get ready for an event, such as a marathon, since most marathons start in the morning.

Soccer matches may be planned during the afternoon, but most baseball and basketball games are played in the evening. Training at those periods will improve your body's performance on game or race day, regardless of the sport you play.

How to Adapt

Your circadian cycle influences the best time to exercise significantly. Everyone has a 24-hour rhythm, and it is possible to alter it or "train" your body to function better at specific times. It is a daily cycle that governs numerous physiological activities, including alertness, blood pressure, body temperature, and metabolism. It's similar to setting your alarm clock to a different time. You might find it challenging to wake up early in the first week or two. However, after a month or so, your body adjusts to the change, and many people discover that they awaken before the alarm sounds.

The same applies to your fitness regimen. You can start training your body to fit that time of day once you've established that it works best for your schedule, body, event, and other considerations. For instance, if you start going for long runs in the morning, your body becomes accustomed to jogging at that time. Additionally, you'll grow used to rising, drinking, eating, going to the restroom, and jogging. It will eventually come naturally, and the routine will keep you motivated.

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